Showing posts with label Puerto Rico. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Puerto Rico. Show all posts

January 11, 2019

Gay Rapper and LGBT Advocate Shot Dead Last Night in Puerto Rico, He Was 24




Image result for kevin fret dead
BBC Reports
         the rapper and outspoken advocate for the LGBT community 
    Kevin Fret has been shot dead in Puerto Rico aged 24. 
            The musician, described as Latin Trap music's first openly gay artist, was killed in the capital San Juan on Thursday morning, police said.
    Fret was shot at eight times while riding a motorbike in the street, and he was hit in the head and hip.
    His death brings the number of murders in Puerto Rico this year to 22, police added.  
    Confirming his death, Fret's manager Eduardo Rodriguez said: "There are no words that describe the feeling we have and the pain that causes us to know that a person with so many dreams has to go. 
    "We must all unite in these difficult times, and ask for much peace for our beloved Puerto Rico."

    What happened?

    Fret was out in the Santurce neighborhood of San Juan at 5:30 local time (9:30 GMT) on Thursday when he was fatally shot.
    He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was declared dead. 
    Police are now searching for another man on a motorcycle who was with Fret when he was found but quickly fled the scene.
    There is no immediate indication of a motive, and an investigation is underway. 
    Puerto Rico has seen a rise in street crime in recent weeks, which has been described by police on the Caribbean island as a "crisis of violence".

    Who is Kevin Fret?

    The Puerto Rican was a rising trap artist in the Latin rap scene, and his debut music video, Soy Asi (I'm Like This), has more than half a million views on YouTube.
    Mr. Rodriguez described the rapper as "an artistic soul" who had a passion for music. "He still had a lot left to do."

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    "I'm a person that doesn't care what anybody has to say," Fret told online magazine Paper last year.
    "[Now I see] young gay guys or young lesbians that are looking at me now like a role model, like wow, if he did it, and he doesn't care what anybody else has to say, I can do it."
    However, Fret's rise to prominence was not without turbulence - while living in Miami last year, he was charged with battery after a fight, media reported. 
    He said he had been attacked because of his sexuality, and threw a metal bottle at the man.
    Fret has also responded strongly to homophobic threats in the lyrics of a rival musician, making some of his supporters wonder whether his murder was motivated by hate.

    What is trap music?

    The trap is a style of Southern hip hop, popularised in the late 90s and early 00s. It is characterized by its use of multilayered energetic and hard-hitting sounds and the overall dark atmosphere.
    The word "trap" refers to where drug deals happen, and the lyrics, which are both sung and rapped, often reflect the poverty, violence and street life that artists have faced.
    The Latin variant of the genre gained popularity in the Caribbean in the 2010s and is typically sung in Spanish.
    It mixes American trap, rhythm and blues and local sounds like Puerto Rican reggaeton.
    Well-known Latin trap rappers like Bad Bunny, Messiah and Ozuna have collaborated with mainstream hip hop artists like Drake and Cardi B.

    December 21, 2018

    Christmas in Puerto Rico as a Child-Feliz Navidad!



    On Christmas eve the neighbors dressed in all kind of outfits representing African gods(singing Christian music) and playing folklore songs in what is called "Alto" (stop) in which they come and sing in front of your house and will continue to sing "Danzas" (Puerto Rican folklore songs) until the owner opens the door and offers either money or drinks and food.

    Now you can see what it was a golpe or punch because they will hit you at night after you've gone to bed. Usually, they will be happy with a beer each or a shot of Puerto Rican rum. My father was not a drinker even though I had two brothers that became alcoholics and died after they killed their livers. Neither one of my parents drank. But at Christmas, I was surprised he had something he never had during the past year. My father was kind of tight and to have a box or two of goodies under his bed made no sense to me until one day I decided to explore and open and try what was in those boxes (beer rum and anisette). I didn't like the warm beer and could only sniff the rum but Anissette I liked because it was sweet.
    This went so bad for me that getting sick was the best part of the experience or I should day ordeal.





    Jose Ferrer, Rita Moreno, Ricky Martin
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    December 20, 2018

    Puerto Rico Loses 130,000 Mostly Tax Paying Citizens in Just One Year



     One year without Electric or potable water. How long would you stay, when relief is just 31/2 hours away? Only the very poor will stay but the tax base will pay taxes someplace else.   Adam



    San Juan, Puerto Rico — The U.S. Census Bureau says Puerto Rico lost 130,000 inhabitants between July 2017 and 2018, a period that includes Hurricane Maria.

    Officials said Wednesday that the U.S. territory's population now stands at 3.2 million people, a nearly 14 percent drop over the past decade and a nearly 4 percent reduction in just one year.
    "Puerto Rico has seen a steady decline in population over the last decade," said Sandra Johnson, a demographer, and statistician with the Census Bureau. "Hurricane Maria in September of 2017 further impacted that loss, both before and during the recovery period."

    Puerto Rico already was losing people prior to the September 2017 blow from Maria. The island has been struggling through a 12-year recession, and the hurricane prompted tens of thousands of people to head for the mainland. The Category 4 storm destroyed the island's power grid and caused more than an estimated $100 billion in damage.

    First published on December 19, 2018
    © 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

    November 21, 2018

    Trump Wont Release Money Approved for Puerto Rico and A Conversation Between a Head of State and Someone Mentally Handicapped



    The money is there because Congress has set it aside but the man does not understand. He keeps saying it's going to paid debt when he has no reason to believe that and it makes no sense. Your house has been blown over and you get a loan, what would you use it for/ To pay the bank or to use it for the reason you ask that money for???????????????????????/ This man mind is destroyed! Nobody can make him understand anything.
    Trump has told senior officials that he would like to retract some of the federal funds Congress has already set aside for Puerto Rico's disaster recovery, Axios' Jonathan Swan reported earlier this month. This is mainly due to Trump's belief that the funds are being used to pay back debt (there is no evidence of this). The members noted in their letter that they would work with Trump to "ensure this never occurs."

    This is going to get to you the hair of your brains straight up but it will make you understand what so many of us have been saying.......


    The transcript of Donald Trump’s discussion with Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull obtained by the Washington Post reveals many things, but the most significant may be that Trump in his private negotiations is every bit as mentally limited as he appears to be in public.
    At issue in the conversation is a deal to settle 1,250 refugees who have been detained by Australia in the United States. I did not pay any attention to the details of this agreement before reading the transcript. By the time I was halfway through it, my brain could not stop screaming at Trump for his failure to understand what Turnbull was telling him.
    Australia has a policy of refusing to accept refugees who arrive by boat. The reason, as Turnbull patiently attempts to explain several times, is that it believes giving refuge to people who arrive by boat would encourage smuggling and create unsafe passage with a high risk of deaths at sea. But it had a large number of refugees who had arrived by sea, living in difficult conditions, whom Australia would not resettle (for fear of encouraging more boat trafficking) but whom it did not want to deport, either. The United States government agreed under President Obama to vet 1,250 of these refugees and accept as many of them as it deemed safe.
    In the transcript, Trump is unable to absorb any of these facts. He calls the refugees “prisoners,” and repeatedly brings up the Cuban boatlift (in which Castro dumped criminals onto Florida). He is unable to absorb Turnbull’s explanation that they are economic refugees, not from conflict zones, and that the United States has the ability to turn away any of them it deems dangerous.   
    Turnbull tries to explain to Trump that refugees have not been detained because they pose a danger to Australian society, but in order to deter ship-based smuggling:
    Trump: Why haven’t you let them out? Why have you not let them into your society?

    Turnbull: Okay, I will explain why. It is not because they are bad people. It is because in order to stop people smugglers, we had to deprive them of the product. So we said if you try to come to Australia by boat, even if we think you are the best person in the world, even if you are a Noble [sic] Prize winning genius, we will not let you in. Because the problem with the people —
    At this point, Trump fails to understand the policy altogether, and proceeds to congratulate Turnbull for what Trump mistakes to be a draconian policy of total exclusion:
    Trump: That is a good idea. We should do that too. You are worse than I am … Because you do not want to destroy your country. Look at what has happened in Germany. Look at what is happening in these countries.


    Trump has completely failed to understand either that the refugees are not considered dangerous, or, again, that they are being held because of a categorical ban on ship-based refugee traffic.
    He also fails to understand the number of refugees in the agreement:
    Trump: I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country. And now I am agreeing to take 2,000 people and I agree I can vet them, but that puts me in a bad position. It makes me look so bad and I have only been here a week.

    Turnbull: With great respect, that is not right – It is not 2,000.

    Trump: Well, it is close. I have also heard like 5,000 as well.

    Turnbull: The given number in the agreement is 1,250 and it is entirely a matter of your vetting.
    Then Trump returns to his belief that they are bad, and failing to understand the concept that they have been detained merely because they arrived by sea and not because they committed a crime:
    Trump: I hate taking these people. I guarantee you they are bad. That is why they are in prison right now. They are not going to be wonderful people who go on to work for the local milk people.
    Turnbull: I would not be so sure about that. They are basically —
    Trump: Well, maybe you should let them out of prison.
    He still thinks they’re criminals.
    Later, Trump asks what happens if all the refugees fail his vetting process:
    Trump: I hate having to do it, but I am still going to vet them very closely. Suppose I vet them closely and I do not take any?
    Turnbull: That is the point I have been trying to make.
    After several attempts by Turnbull to explain Australia’s policy, Trump again expresses his total inability to understand what it is:
    Trump: Does anybody know who these people are? Who are they? Where do they come from? Are they going to become the Boston bomber in five years? Or two years? Who are these people?

    Turnbull: Let me explain. We know exactly who they are. They have been on Nauru or Manus for over three years and the only reason we cannot let them into Australia is because of our commitment to not allow people to come by boat. Otherwise we would have let them in. If they had arrived by airplane and with a tourist visa then they would be here.

    Trump: Malcom [sic], but they are arrived on a boat?
    After Turnbull has told Trump several times that the refugees have been detained because they arrived by boat, and only for that reason, Trump’s question is, “But they have arrived on a boat?”
    Soon after, Turnbull again reiterates that Australia’s policy is to detain any refugee who arrives by boat:
    Turnbull: The only people that we do not take are people who come by boa. So we would rather take a not very attractive guy that help you out then to take a Noble [sic] Peace Prize winner that comes by boat. That is the point.”

    Trump: What is the thing with boats? Why do you discriminate against boats? No, I know, they come from certain regions. I get it.
    No, you don’t get it at all! It’s not that they come from certain regions! It’s that they come by boat!
    So Turnbull very patiently tries to explain again that the policy has nothing to do with what region the refugees come from:
    Turnbull: No, let me explain why. The problem with the boats it that you are basically outsourcing your immigration program to people smugglers and also you get thousands of people drowning at sea.
    At this point, Trump gives up asking about the policy and just starts venting about the terribleness of deals in general:
    I do not know what he got out of it. We never get anything out of it — START Treaty, the Iran deal. I do not know where they find these people to make these stupid deals. I am going to get killed on this thing.
    Shortly afterward, the call ends in brusque fashion, and Turnbull presumably begins drinking heavily.

    October 2, 2018

    PR's Governor Says He Is Willing To Admit Mistakes He Made But 5 Millions PR's Will Back Politicians Helping The Island in The Mainland





    Puerto Rico recently made headlines 12 months after Hurricane Maria barreled through the island. Last month, President Donald Trump called San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz “totally incompetent,” reigniting a feud in his attempt to defend the government agencies and his administration’s handling of recovery efforts. In response, Cruz said, "he never got it. He will never get it."  

    Setting heated exchanges aside, the role of Governor Ricardo Rosselló also has come under fresh scrutiny. In the aftermath of Maria, he attempted totake a conciliatory approach toward the administration. A month after the catastrophe, Trump gave himself a score of “10” on Maria’s response, while Rosselló told reporters at the White House that “the president answered all of our petitions.”
    GettyImages-897259514
    GettyImages-897259514
    Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló sat down with Newsweek to talk about the island's recovery efforts.
    ALEX WONG/GETTY IMAGES

    However, the Puerto Rican government also has faced harsh criticism over its role in the island’s recovery. In an interview with Newsweek last month, Cruz said the governor “did not ask enough.” In August, a Puerto Rico–funded report by George Washington University revealed that nearly 3,000 people had died between September 2017 and February 2018—a stark difference from the official death toll of 64 Rosselló adamantly defended for months. The same study discovered gaps "in the death certification and public communication processes" and found that "the risk of dying was 60 percent higher for individuals who lived in the poorest municipalities." 

    Rosselló’s relationship with Trump turned sour in recent days. While the president said that his administration's response to Maria was “an unsung success,” Rosselló, 39, said that U.S.-Puerto Rico relations could not be considered “successful” because Puerto Ricans have not attained the same “inalienable rights” granted to U.S. citizens. “[Puerto Ricans] have favored statehood on two occasions,” he said, according to Puerto Rico’s newspaper El Nuevo Día. “Trivializing this is a lack of respect to the people of Puerto Rico, and we’re not going to accept that.”

    A year after Maria and Irma, Rosselló wants to revamp Puerto Rico's economy by way of tourism and renewable energy. During a visit to New York in late September, he sat down with Newsweek to talk about Puerto Rico’s recovery efforts and why it’s important for the island to become the 51st state.

    You are an advocate of Puerto Rico statehood. The island would receive benefits from joining the U.S. such as full participation or parity of federal benefits. But those who don’t support this idea say Puerto Ricans will have a hard time paying federal, state and municipal taxes. How to reconcile both sides of the issue?  

    On the economic front, it’s very simple. We get much more for being a state than what we would give back, so that’s easy to reconcile. The second part is the political power, and you can’t understate or put a price tag on what it means to have actual participation. As a matter of fact, the results of not having it you’re seeing it now in the slower and delayed recovery for Puerto Rico. To me, it is quite clear: Puerto Rico needs to change its current status and needs to go to statehood. There are other alternatives, but certainly, the current one [U.S. commonwealth] is not an option, and in my view, this is the best one and the one people prefer is statehood.

    How would you explain to a U.S. citizen living on the mainland the importance of incorporating Puerto Rico as a U.S. state?

    Well, I see Puerto Rico as the most exciting place to invest right now. We are the connector of the Americas. We already added a lot of value to the U.S., but I can see it as the center for diplomatic relationships between South and North America. I see it as the center for economic activity, and certainly, as was the case of Hawaii, for example, the bigger economy drives forward the smaller economy. There are synergies to becoming a state and that would benefit the average citizen. But I think the most important question is, are we satisfied as a democracy in having colonial territories in the 21st century? Are we satisfied with treating more than 3 million U.S. citizens differently just because of the place that they live? The answer is no.  

    But months prior to Hurricanes Irma and Maria, only 500,000 of the 2.6 million Puerto Ricans participated in a plebiscite to support statehood. Do you think Puerto Ricans have lost interest in statehood, or have their views changed after Maria?

    I think that there’s more interest than ever in statehood. I think that when you see national polls, you see the tendency clearly towards statehood and away from the other options [commonwealth or independence]. You can’t just take the last plebiscite by itself. There was another plebiscite executed four and a half years previous to that, where there was over 80 percent participation. Statehood won with 60-some percent of the vote, and the current status was rejected. The only reason folks decided not to participate in the plebiscite last year was that they knew what the outcome was going to be: that people were going to support statehood. Yes, support for statehood is big.

    Puerto Rico's nonvoting member of Congress, Jenniffer González-Colon, submitted a proposal so that the island becomes the 51st state, and 53 Republicans and Democrats are co-sponsoring it. However, Congress has largely avoided the discussion over statehood. Do you think Congress will listen this time?

    It’s a different platform. They have been avoiding it because they could; they have put it as a second- or third-level issue. Now, after the passing of the storm in Puerto Rico, the conversation has elevated to a point where people have a different view on Puerto Rico, and I will give you an example. Prior to the storm, only 20 percent of U.S. citizens in the mainland knew that we were citizens, and now more than 90 percent do. Once you create that consciousness, this has become a hot-button issue for politics. It is right time to get some action on this issue, and the question still remains: Do you want to remain a jurisdiction that has a colonial territory while claiming to be the standard bearer of democracy? The answer should be no.   

    You are championing recovery efforts but FEMA has decided to halt the completion of funds that could help in reconstruction initiatives. Why is this detrimental to Puerto Rico’s future?

    Our process with FEMA has been marred with bureaucracy. Part of the importance of FEMA in this process is that they were the first line of defense in the recovery, making sure that people have rooms and that adequate resources for an emergency are executed. By delaying this process, you’re delaying the recovery and eventual reconstruction of Puerto Rico. We have very specific asks: Eliminate the excessive bureaucracy that has been imposed on Puerto Rico as opposed to Texas and Florida. Allow us to have a 100 percent of the cost share that is on the president’s desk. We’re asking for his consideration here, and this is nothing different from what happened in Louisiana with Katrina [in 2005]. Enable us to push forward on the recovery, because things need to move faster on FEMA’s side.

    Did you ask FEMA to make an exemption of the Stafford Act and the Jones Act, which restricts the upgrade of damaged infrastructure after a natural disaster and prohibits the docking of non-U.S. ships into Puerto Rico’s ports, respectively?   

    Well, they already did the test study for the exemption of the Jones Act, so that certainly would be helpful. I think there are many things that need to be changed in the Stafford Act. It’s very restraining and limiting, and for devastations of a certain magnitude it really inhibits the progress moving forward, so there needs to be a broader discussion on how we make the Stafford Act better, how we amend it and how we respond to these devastations.

    There is no doubt in my mind that with climate change, this is going to be a significant issue that we’re facing not only in Puerto Rico but in the rest of the nation and the rest of the world. There are going to be side effects such as erosion and, of course, the impacts that we’re seeing. We need to calibrate for those, mitigate and build resilient [infrastructure], so that’s part of my commitment to Puerto Rico. We want to make sure we use this opportunity not only to rebuild but to do it smarter, and innovate.

    You are currently at odds with the Fiscal Control Board—a group of seven members appointed by the White House and approved by the PROMESA Act of 2016 to oversee Puerto Rico’s debt crisis—because they haven’t agreed on some legislative measures, such as defending retirees’ pensions and a reduction on financial burden for municipalities. Do you believe the board presents a hurdle to your job as a governor since much of the island’s financial decisions have to go through them?

    I recognize the role of the board. We have many differences, and I will fight those differences. From a philosophical perspective, and even prior [to the board’s establishment], I have always opposed the notion of the board. It’s nondemocratic; it’s imposing certain people that are working part-time to be part of a very significant and robust decision-making process. So again, similar to my view with colonialism, this is just another outcome of colonialism. That’s another idea or reason we should veer away from it. No state would have fiscal oversight.

    Detractors say the board must leave PR because it doesn’t solve underlying issues such as unemployment. Do you think the Fiscal Control Board should leave Puerto Rico? 

    Whether by another action or by our own, once we get budgets balanced, then the oversight board leaves. I think, again, it is something that I don’t think works. The board was there before I became governor. I’m working with it, but I’ll fight it every time I have the opportunity.

    It does seem that you and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz concur on several aspects, particularly renewable energy and the removal of U.S. colonization. So why is there a political rift?

    We have different worldviews. We have ways of getting our messages across, so that’s another. My way of operating is execution and getting results, while hers is more media-driven. I believe Puerto Rico should be the connector of the Americas and become a U.S. state, but she doesn’t. I believe we should have free market flow and economic development in Puerto Rico, but she opposes it. We have very different worldviews, but as I said in the process of rebuilding Puerto Rico, I’m always willing to work with anybody.




    Cruz does agree with you in the mobilization of more than 5 million Puerto Ricans living in the U.S. to vote against legislators who forgot about the island. You said last year that Puerto Ricans should “shake up the midterm elections in states ranging from Florida to California.” Are you still standing by that claim? 

    Of course, and it is consistent with my worldview. It is not consistent with Cruz’s, as she doesn’t believe in a relationship between the island and the U.S. I think that Puerto Ricans who live in the States and have moved by virtue of lack of opportunities or otherwise can be our political muscle, as it should be.

    I will be very much involved in the midterm elections, showcasing that Puerto Ricans will be the determinant factor in those midterm elections. My prediction is that you’ll see that many elections will tilt one way or the other by virtue of the Puerto Rican vote, and more so than just the absolute value of the 5.6 million Puerto Ricans, because there are lots of friends of Puerto Rico, too.

    You’re a Democrat. However, there has been some criticism that you have sided with President Donald Trump during the initial recovery efforts, especially after his statement that Puerto Ricans had "thrown our budget out of whack" in the wake of the crisis, as well as the way he treated them with the infamous paper towel tossing. How do you respond to that?

    Again, I don’t object to criticism; I welcome it. But I tell you what my role is. The easy thing to do would be to stand up, kick and scream and get nothing done for Puerto Rico. I chose to open a channel of communication, even if the president is from a different party than I am. I chose to establish a dialogue and collaboration with federal agencies, so that has been my focus. I think that right now we are in a world where there’s a lot of noise, a lot of screaming and kicking, and that doesn’t get very much done. I think we need to execute, and the best way to get results is by establishing your case, having an open dialogue and do it right by your people.

    You are in New York to promote tourism development opportunities in Puerto Rico, but some hotels need to be rebuilt in the Old San Juan, the electrical grid is not ready, and some areas still have blue tarps installed by FEMA. Moreover, some of these companies bring their own staff abroad. How can tourism resolve poverty and brain drain?

    There are many things that need to be done in order to resolve these issues, but tourism is a critical component. We see a path to grow within five or seven years in doubling the output in tourism in Puerto Rico. We’ve done several things to do that: We’re taking the promotion of tourism outside of the government and we’re doing it with the industry, so that stakeholders can drive that and have some consistency. Also, we’re creating Puerto Rico as a multiport destination so that flights and boats can come from many different jurisdictions.

    Many of the hotels that still haven’t opened are because they’re making remodeling efforts, so many of them will be opening in next quarter and some of them will open the following year, and new hotels are coming to Puerto Rico. We have embarked on transforming [our] energy grid from one that is probably one of the worst in our region to what we aspire to be a model in all of the region and perhaps the world—one that has more than 40 percent renewables and that can be cost-effective and reliable. We want a system that can have a customer-centric approach, solving the customer’s needs.

    We see it as part of the job creation to get our economy flowing. This is not the only way to generate employment but it's certainly an important part, and what we wanted to do here in New York was let all the stakeholders know that Puerto Rico is open for business and that we're receiving tourism. It is, in my view, the most exciting place to invest so that we can attract capital, visitors and development.

    You once said that one of your greatest regrets was not asking for a more accurate death toll.  Twelve months after Maria, what other regrets do you have?

    I made mistakes and I own them up. There are two types of leadership in that sense: You can either ignore your mistakes and keep on making them, or you identify them and try to fix them. There are many things, we faced a devastation unlike any other, and we learned from that. I estimated that the electric grid was ready by mid-December but we didn’t achieve that goal, so that was a mistake on my part.




    Our protocols, not only the death-toll protocol but just the readiness for hurricanes in Puerto Rico—and in the United States, which is very concerning—were never prepared for an event of this magnitude. Now, moving towards the future, we are prepared for the worst-case scenario. We only had one distribution site of commodities in Puerto Rico, and now we have nine across the island so that they can be better suited for. There have been mistakes, and my commitment is to own them up and fix them.

    Newsweek


    September 24, 2018

    In Many Parts of Puerto Rico it seems like the storm hit yesterday. The damage it is still there.



    Utuado (Central West in the Island). Even a well constructed cement house to which testament it does not breaks apart but the wind and the heavy rain blows it down the reveen. The worse part is this: A home in Utuado severely damaged by Hurricane Maria remains unlivable a year later.


    Photographs by Joseph Rodriguez
    Written by Ed Morales
    Mr. Rodriguez is a photojournalist. Mr. Morales is the author of a book about Latino identity in the United States.
    Last October, my sister and I traveled to Puerto Rico to pick up our 89-year-old mother and take her back to New York. Hurricane Maria had battered her remote mountain community in Río Grande, near the El Yunque National Forest. 

    My mother, who coincidentally is named María, had long resisted our pleas to move to the mainland, but we knew that in the chaos after the storm, many Puerto Ricans, especially older people, would die. We didn’t want her to be one of them. She finally agreed to leave.



    Because of the damage to her home in Utuado, Julia Rivera, 48, who has nine children, has to collect and store water in plastic jugs and cook meals in a makeshift kitchen she created in her backyard.

    Poor communities in urban areas like Santurce and Loíza are struggling with severely damaged housing, the loss of jobs and small businesses, and sluggish responses from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In rural communities, it’s even worse. Julia Rivera, a mother of nine in Utuado, a mountainous town in the path of Maria’s center, still needs funds to repair her leaking roof. “I have lost everything but my faith in God,” she lamented.

    Julia Rivera’s son Sandro Rodriguez Rivera in his bedroom. The power is intermittent and water leaks through the house’s badly damaged ceilings.



    Puerto Rico was experiencing a health care crisis before Maria, with doctors leaving in droves for the mainland and severe cuts in Medicaidlooming. In Vieques — an island on the east coast of Puerto Rico that once housed a United States Navy base — the hospital was flooded and then overtaken by toxic mold. The hospital remains closed, and patients can receive only basic care in temporary medical facility.


    Anna Tufino Camacho, 93, lives alone in Vieques. Blind in one eye, she also has heart disease and a fractured spine. Volunteers from Fundación Stefano check in on Ms. Camacho, who weathered the hurricane by lying in a bathtub.



    A mural in Old San Juan that means “Promise Is Poverty,” a reference to the Financial Oversight and Management Board imposed by Congress.

    In Palo Seco, Juanita and Artemio García, who would like to rebuild their local cafe, are weighing whether to move to Orlando, Fla., to be with their son, a music teacher, and his children. “I still haven’t made up my mind,” Mr. García said. “My son keeps asking, and maybe he’s right. I miss my grandchildren.”


     Juanita and Artemio García, married 54 years, would like to rebuild their café, named Two Times, in Palo Seco, but are considering moving to Florida.

    Fernando Montero, a 64-year-old coffee farmer in Utuado, and his wife, Maria Gonzalez, lost six of their thirteen acres of coffee plants in the hurricane. Mr. Montero says it will take three years for the crop to come back.


    And yet, as spring approached, my mother began to miss the rhythms of her barrio. In February, we heard that the power there had been restored. Her sister, Mercedes, and her neighbors had made their way back. Though we had wanted so much for her to stay, we knew it was time for her to do the same. She needed to be in the place that made her feel alive. 


    Ed Morales teaches at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race and his latest book is “Latinx: The New Force in American Politics and Culture.” 
    Joseph Rodriguez is a photojournalist whose latest book is “Spanish Harlem: El Barrio in the ’80s.” This article was produced with support from the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.
    Produced by Jeffrey Henson Scales and Isvett Verde



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